SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Private use of electric vehicles in Ketchikan
By Chris Wilhelm


July 11, 2008

In response to Joy Barry's remark on all electric vehicle use, nothing seems better suited for Ketchikan! We can nearly eliminate, yes, eliminate petroleum dependency in the First City by having electric cars. Except in extreme months of dry or cold weather, our electricity is generated by falling water, which these days looks pretty cheap and easy. Thanks to KPU's hydroelectric facilities our electricity is not dependent on any country's oil production levels.

Most electric vehicles have a top speed of 25-30 mph. Some cars produced in Seattle and Vancouver BC even achieve speeds of 50 mph, and can be charged by plugging into a conventional wall socket. With these being the posted speed limits in Ketchikan, it all fits together neatly except for an ordinance passed by the city council.

Governor Murkowski was alerted to a gray area in the law regarding electric vehicles, whether they were legal or not for Alaska roads and highways, in 2005. The legislature enacted a law confirming that electric vehicles were indeed suitable for our state's roads, developed licensing fees, and with that made them legal.

Shortly after that, the Ketchikan City Council passed an ordinance banning electric vehicles from the streets of the First City. Apparently, hybrid vehicles which use a combination of gasoline and electricity are in a loophole all their own. Perhaps the City is unaware that electric vehicles are currently operating on the streets, at times using gasoline, at other times using only electricity.

It is an interesting time. The price of a barrel of oil may cause interest on both sides of the electric issue to reconsider and provide for private use of electric vehicles in Ketchikan.

Here are a couple of links for electric cars and specifications.

Chris Wilhelm
Ketchikan, AK

About: "A citizen looking for ways to reduce petroleum consumption."

Received July 10, 2008 - Published July 11, 2008


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letter Do your part to lower demand for oil By Joy Barry

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